I love to drink. I really do. And it’s not a “whoo-hoo, let’s all go get drunk!!!” thing, either (not all the time, anyway). I love a good beer, one I can really taste. I also love a good cheap beer, one that makes delicious pizza that much better. Or even crappy pizza that much better. The smell of a dark roasted porter makes my mouth water. And wine…oh, wine. Wine not? That’s what I always say (I also like a little cheese with my wine ;). I love a nice, spicy Shiraz or a warm Cabernet in the wintertime. I love having a glass (or seven) of perfectly chilled Pinot Grigio in the summer, especially on a porch somewhere. My friend Kristin and I co-founded the “one-bottle club” one night when we stayed up, all night, talking and laughing, when we realized we’d gone through an entire bottle—each!
My point is, I love beer. I love wine. I love food and cooking, friends and fellowship, and I feel that all these things are inextricably linked with some occasion-appropriate adult refreshment. These things paint the story of my life: Had a bad day? Head out for a beer. Get a big promotion? Break out the champagne! What’s that? It’s 530pm on a Tuesday? Wine all around!
That’s why it is so hard for me to say this: I’ve decided to give up alcohol for Lent.
It’s like telling your best friend, “No, thanks, best friend. Can’t go out tonight. I can’t see you for another, oh, six weeks or so.”
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have to drink to have a good time. I do a pretty damn good job of that on my own. I frequently join my close friends over at the karaoke bar, and I’ve been completely sober doing that before. Of course, it is a little easier to hit the high notes in Electric Light Orchestra’s “Don’t Bring Me Down” when I have an ice-cold Pabst Blue Ribbon clenched in my grateful hand.
What’s even more difficult is not being able to indulge in the sacrament with J. We cook dinner together often, and as I stated before, I love to have a little wine while preparing dinner. I told him he’s free to do what he wants, and just because I’m not drinking, doesn’t mean he has to give up the good stuff. I wish he wouldn’t have agreed so heartily…I think he’s just glad he gets to help himself to my leftovers in the fridge.
So it is with a heavy heart and a wistful sigh that I put my good friend back on the shelf for the next 40 days or so. But it’s not goodbye, but merely so long; until next time.
Hmm…going through my pictures…I swear, it’s not my fault! It’s the beer! It’s addicted to me!